Presented by DOC NYC and the International Documentary Association (IDA), the first Documentary Preservation Summit comes to IFC Center March 31 and April 1. Gathering filmmakers, preservation experts and others, the summit will address the risks of important documentary films being lost and strategies for ensuring their future. Featuring in person appearances by Academy Award winning directors D.A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop; The War Room) and Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA; American Dream); Margaret Bodde, the executive director of the Film Foundation; and Sandra Schulberg, the head of the IndieCollect film documentation and preservation campaign.
Summit passes, good for all events on both days, are available for purchase in person at the IFC Center box office for $25 (or $20 for IFC Center members). Tickets for individual panels are available online at the links below, or in person at the IFC Center box office.
Tue Mar 31
7:30pm: KEYNOTE PANEL: A CALL TO ACTION FOR DOCUMENTARY PRESERVATION
Documentary films capture vital moments of history and culture that are at great risk of being lost if we don’t pay greater attention to their preservation. This keynote panel is aimed at film lovers who want to better understand why classic documentaries become unavailable and what’s being done to address the crisis in preservation. We’ll unveil new details of the IndieCollect film documentation and preservation campaign funded by the Ford Foundation that seeks to be part of a positive change in independent film preservation. Speakers: Barbara Kopple (filmmaker), D.A. Pennebaker (filmmaker), Sandra Schulberg (IndieCollect), Michael Donaldson (fair use attorney), moderated by Thom Powers (DOC NYC). Click here to purchase tickets
Wed Apr 1
10:30am: EARNING NEW REVENUE FROM OLD FILMS
Is there any money to be made from old documentaries? That’s a key question that arises when discussing preservation. This panel brings together representatives of digital streaming platforms to discuss opportunities for selling back catalog films, including case studies of the Drew Associates library and Hands on a Hard Body. Speakers: Jeremy Boxer (Vimeo), Adam Klaff (VHX), Linda Pan (Doc Club), George Schmalz (Kickstarter). Click here to purchase tickets.
Noon: CONFRONTING CLEARANCE & LEGAL ISSUES
Older documentaries often face legal impediments in order to be re-released. Those challenges include unclear contracts with producers and distributors; or murky clearance agreements for footage and music. This panel brings together specialists who have addressed these issues. The discussion will include case studies of reviving Henry Hampton’s Eyes on the Prize and Marcel Ophuls’ The Memory of Justice. Speakers: Margaret Bodde (Film Foundation), Dennis Doros (Milestone Films), Rena Kosersky (Eyes on the Prize), Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom). Click here to purchase tickets.
2:00pm: HOW DOES YOUR FILM BECOME PRESERVED & DISCOVERABLE?
Filmmakers need to understand what film archives do and how to partner with them. But preserving your film for posterity is just the first step. IndieCollect and some of its archive collaborators illustrate how they preserve work and render it accessible — to film programmers, online distributors, cinephiles, and the general public — so that filmmakers can monetize it. Speakers: Israel Ehrisman (IndieCollect), Elena Rossi-Snook (New York Public Library), Katie Trainor (MoMA). Click here to purchase tickets.
3:30pm: BEST PRACTICES: DON’T LOSE YOUR FOOTAGE IN THE DIGITAL AGE
For today’s working filmmaker, finished works as well as raw footage, increasingly wind up on hard drives for digital storage. The challenge of how to cope with digital formats is new to everyone. It requires even greater diligence than was required for older formats of celluloid and tape. On this panel, filmmakers discuss cautionary tales and strategies for not losing precious footage. Speakers: Allison Berg (director, The Dog), Rufus de Rham (Activist Archivists), Clara Fon-Sing (NBCUniversal Archives), David Leitner (filmmaker). Click here to purchase tickets.